Seafood is liked by many meat lovers all over the world. Of the many seafood items that seem enticing, octopus is one such item that many have tried and enjoyed. The nutritional goodness of octopus makes human beings give it a try, which is also why it’s a common part of several cuisines.
There is something intriguing about this marine animal that raises our curiosity. However, just because a particular food item is good for human beings doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for dogs.
If you have ever wondered, “Can dogs eat octopus?” then we are here to answer this very question today. In this article, we will be exploring the health benefits and possible risk factors associated with octopuses and how you should be feeding them to your dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Octopus?
Owing to the fact that octopus is quite expensive, it isn’t a common ingredient in commercial dog food. It can, however, be quite safe and beneficial for dogs when cooked properly. The nutritional value of cooked octopus is quite high, and it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients that could be harmful for your dog.
By cooking the octopus thoroughly, you can get rid of any pathogens or harmful bacteria, making it nutritious and safe to be consumed by your beloved dog. The nutrients present in cooked octopus, such as vitamins, proteins, and minerals, enhance your dog’s overall health.
The cooked form of octopus is the only type that should be given to dogs as cooking it also improves its taste, enabling your pet to consume it without it tasting weird to them.
Much like any other new food, you should monitor the way your dog reacts to octopus when they have it initially. If they have any health issues or dietary restrictions, you must consult with your vet first in case you’re concerned about feeding octopus to your dog.
Ensure that the octopus your dog consumes is in moderation and completely unseasoned since cooking oil, seasonings, and spices could upset your dog’s tummy.
Even though octopus can suit dogs, there are certain situations where you should avoid feeding them to your furry friend, such as:
- If they have food intolerances or allergies.
- If they have gastrointestinal pathologies.
- If their digestive system is highly sensitive and doesn’t take well to new diets.
How Much Octopus Can You Give Your Dog?
Despite some of the nutritional benefits of octopus, it should be fed to dogs only occasionally and in moderation. You should never make it a regular part of your dog’s meals.
The portion of octopus you feed to your dog depends mainly on their weight and size. Although bigger dogs can have slightly more of it, they should still be fed octopus only as an occasional treat. Moderate quantities can be provided to dogs as happy surprises or as treats while they’re being trained.
Based on the size of your dog, the size of every treat should be about a bite or two. As far as their overall diet is concerned, octopus should constitute only a tiny portion of it.
Every dog has a different dietary requirement, which is why it is imperative to take your vet’s advice whenever you decide to introduce something new to your dog’s taste buds so as to ensure that it all aligns with their health considerations and overall needs.
How Often Can You Feed Octopus to Your Dog?
Octopus is pretty expensive. Even frozen octopus can cost you quite a lot, which is why it’s natural for fresh octopus to cost even more. The price can often be a discouraging factor for some people who wish to feed octopus to their dogs.
If the price is not an issue for you, then you shouldn’t feed octopus to your dog more than once or twice a week in small quantities. Here is how you can prepare the octopus for your dog:
- If the octopus is very tender, you could consider freezing it before cooking it, or you can also buy it frozen from the market.
- Thaw it slowly once it has been in the refrigerator the day before you cook it.
- Wash it thoroughly using cold water so as to get rid of any possible impurities.
- Fill a saucepan with water, and once it begins to boil, put the octopus in it and take it in and out three times. After this, submerge the octopus completely while the water is boiling and cook it over medium heat for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Once it’s cooked, allow it to cool down and cut it into small slices for your dog.
5 Benefits of Eating Octopus for Dogs
When provided in a cooked form and in appropriate quantities, dogs can be quite beneficial for dogs. Here are some of the benefits of feeding octopus to dogs:
1. Healthy Fats
Octopus has a lot of healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in maintaining a dog’s brain and heart health. They also help dogs who suffer from inflamed joints and reduce a dog’s cholesterol levels, keeping their coat shiny and healthy.
2. Source of Protein
Octopus is a good source of protein for dogs, boosting the health of their hair and skin and also helping with muscle development. It helps with a dog’s hormone development, leading them to develop enzymes and antibodies.
Through the amino acids and protein they contain, octopus helps your dog build strong muscles and improves the healing of wounds.
3. Essential Minerals and Vitamins
Octopus is filled with potassium, phosphorus, iron, and copper, all of which combine to support a dog’s bone density, muscle strength, and blood circulation. They also contain vitamin B12, which helps in the development of red blood cells.
4. Amplifies Energy Levels and Improves Dental Health
The protein and minerals present in octopus help in boosting the energy levels of your dog, preventing them from feeling lethargic. When a dog chews on cooked octopus, it also helps in cleaning their teeth and reducing tartar buildup.
5. Boosts Digestion and Nervous System
The combination of vitamins and healthy fats in octopus contributes towards efficient digestion for your dog. The omega-3 fatty acids are fabulous for the brain health of your health and support in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
4 Risks of Eating Octopus for Dogs
Considering the potential side effects of any food item is important before you feed it to your dog. The following are some of the risks of giving octopus to your dog:
1. Choking hazard
If octopus is not cooked properly or served in small bites, they can pose a choking hazard for dogs as they are otherwise quite chewy and tough. Since there is a possibility that the tentacles of an octopus could still move, your dog could choke on them.
2. Sodium poisoning
Since octopus is a saltwater creature, their sodium levels can be quite high, which is why consuming too much of it can lead to sodium poisoning for dogs. It can also cause seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea.
3. Pathogenic bacteria
The pathogenic bacteria in octopus can adversely affect your dog’s digestive system, leading them to have diarrhea, infections, and vomiting.
4. Heavy metal contamination
Much like other kinds of seafood, the levels of mercury and lead in octopus can be quite high. If your dog ends up eating too much of it, it can lead to vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea. In the long run, it can also harm their nervous system and trigger other major issues, such as blindness.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Octopus?
Dogs should not be fed raw octopus as it could contain harmful pathogens that could lead to foodborne illnesses for your dog.
Although it’s often believed that freezing the meat could help in eliminating these harmful microorganisms, they could still survive the freezing process and even multiply once the octopus is thawed. Therefore, it’s vital to feed your dog cooked octopus so that it’s safe for their system.
Can dogs eat octopus and squid?
Dogs can have octopus and squid in small quantities whenever you decide to feed them to your pet.
Are octopus poisonous to dogs?
Octopus is harmful for dogs only when you feed it to them raw.
Are squid good for dogs?
Dogs can have squid only occasionally and as a rare treat.
Can dogs have cooked octopus?
Yes, if a dog is given octopus, it should always be in a cooked form and not in a raw form.
Is octopus good for the energy levels of dogs?
Yes, the high-quality protein in octopus supports a dog’s energy levels.
As dog parents, it’s essential to be extra careful when introducing a new element in your dog’s diet. Once you feed it to them for the first time, monitor their reaction so as to make sure their body is taking it well, and consult your vet before you feed it to them.
Octopus can be a delicious treat for dogs, but it should only be fed in very small quantities and in a cooked form. Raw or undercooked octopus can be harmful for dogs.
So, the next time you find yourself thinking about whether dogs can have octopuses or not, go through the information mentioned above and make a decision accordingly.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.